DR. RUTH PFAU - MOTHER TERESA OF PAKISTAN PASSED AWAY

Founder Editor Tazeen Akhtar..
Islamabad (Special Report) Dr. Ruth Pfau, the ‘Mother Teresa’ of Pakistan has passed away at age of 87 today, media reported.
 
She was admitted in a private hospital yesterday after her health deteriorated.She had been leading the fight against leprosy in Pakistan since 1960.  Her funeral will be offered at St. Patrick’s Church on August 19.
 
Dr. Pfau, the founder of National Leprosy Control Programme was in charge of the Marie Adelaide Society of Pakistan (MASP), where leprosy patients were treated.
 
She was born in Germany but shifted to Pakistan in 1960 and was given Pakistani citizenship in 1988. It was due to her long struggle that country remained successful defeating leprosy. 
 
She left her native country Germany and stopped in Karachi on her way to India on 8th March 1960. She was being sent to a Mission Station in India by her Congregation but due to some visa problems she broke journey in Karachi and here she was introduced to the leprosy work. On her first visit to the Leprosy patient’s colony at McLeod Road (now I. I. Chundrigar Road) she got so depressed with the situation that she resolved on the spot to join the group and help the affected Leprosy patients.
 
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi announced on Thursday a state funeral for Pakistan’s leprosy fighter Dr Ruth Pfau, who passed away early morning.
 
“The entire nation is indebted to Ruth Pfau for her selfless and unmatched services for the eradication of leprosy. We are proud of her exemplary services and she will remain in our hearts as a shining symbol in times ahead,” according to the statement by the PM office.

Message of PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on the sad demise of Ruth Pfao

        Ruth Pfau may have been born in Germany, her heart was always in Pakistan. She came here at the dawn of a young nation looking to make lives better for those afflicted by disease, and in doing so, found herself a home. We will remember her for her courage, her loyalty, her service to the eradication of leprosy, and most of all, her patriotism.

      Statement of President Mamnoon Hussain

President expressed grief over the demise of Dr Ruth Pfau. Lauding the unforgettable services of late Dr Pfau for the elimination of leprosy from Pakistan, he said she left her country and made Pakistan her homeland just to serve the humanity.He said the whole nation saluted late Dr Pfau for her services and said her great tradition of human service would be kept alive.President Mamnoon said those who had recovered from the deadly disease due to Dr Pfau's efforts had been praying for peace of the Dr Ruth Pfau's soul in eternal life.

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Pakistan’s ‘Mother Teresa’, Dr Ruth Pfau, who led a battle against the stigmatised disease of leprosy, passed away early Thursday morning after a long illness. She was 87.
 
She had been hospitalised at a private hospital in the metropolis for two weeks due to age-related illnesses and her condition had been worsening.
 
Dr Pfau, the founder of the National Leprosy Control Programme in Pakistan, was in charge of the Marie Adelaide Society of Pakistan (MASP), where leprosy patients are treated.
 
Her funeral mass will be held at St Patrick's Cathedral on August 19, said the obituary by MASP Chief Executive Mervyn Lobo.
 
According to Lobo, Dr Pfau had been admitted to the ICU of a private hospital after her health deteriorated earlier.
 
Dr Pfau, who was born in Germany, came to Pakistan in the 1960s and dedicated her life to taking care of leprosy patients. 
 
It was due to the endless struggle of Dr Pfau that Pakistan defeated the disease and became leprosy-free in 1996.
 
She was granted Pakistani citizenship in 1988 and received numerous accolades for her services. 
 
President Mamnoon Hussain expressed deep regret at Dr Pfau’s death.
 
“The Pakistani nation pays tribute to Dr Pfau’s selfless efforts,” the president said.
 
The Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi also said Dr Pfau’s services and love for Pakistan ‘will always be remembered.’
 
Chief Minister Punjab Shehbaz Sharif also expressed deep regret at Dr Pfau’s death and said she ‘set an example through her selfless efforts.’
 
“Dr Pfau’s efforts will be remembered forever,” Shehbaz said in a statement soon after news of her death surfaced.
 
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader also tweeted his regret at losing the ‘selfless’ doctor.
 
In a tweet mid Thursday afternoon, the Inter-Services Public Relations said Dr Ruth would be remembered as an 'ambassador of humanity.'
 
Symbol of the German Pakistan friendship Dr. Ruth Pfau passed away
 
 On the demise of Dr. Ruth Pfau, the ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany, Martin Kobler passed his heartfelt condolences and sympathies to the representative of the Maria Adelaide Leprosy Centre, founded by Dr. Pfau in 1962. 
 
“With great concern we have got the sad massage of the death of Dr. Ruth Pfau. She was a devoted Christian nun and a member of the society of Daughters of the Heart of Mary. We are losing with her an important symbol of the German Pakistan friendship. Her services will never be forgotten.”
 
Dr. Ruth Pfau had been living in Pakistan since 1960. She decided to stay in Pakistan seeing the suffering of leprosy patients and spent more than 50 years to fight leprosy. With her efforts the WHO in 1996 could declared Pakistan one of the first countries in Asia to have controlled leprosy. She was awarded with several Awards of Pakistan and Germany.
 
Al-Jazeera reports that Tributes are pouring in for a German nun who spent more than half a century in Pakistan battling leprosy and helping the country's most vulnerable people.
 
Pakistan's Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi announced in a statement that a state funeral would be held for Ruth Pfau who died on Thursday aged 87.
 
"She gave new hope to innumerable people and proved through her illustrious toil that serving humanity knows no boundaries," the statement said.
 
"We are proud of her exemplary services and she will remain in our hearts as a shining symbol in times ahead."
 
Pfau trained as a doctor in her youth and went on to join a Catholic sisterhood.
 
She arrived in Pakistan in 1960 where she spent the rest of her life. She specialised in the treatment of leprosy, a disease which causes discolouration of the skin, sores, and disfigurements.
 
Pfau's work earned her the Nishan-e-Quaid-i-Azam, one of Pakistan's highest civilian awards.
 
Her death drew messages of condolences from all sections of Pakistani society, with many comparing her passing to that of the philanthropist Abdul Sattar Edhi, who passed away last year.
 
"Saddened to learn of Dr Ruth Pfau's passing," wrote Pakistani cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan, adding: "Her spirit of selfless dedication leaves a void that will be difficult to fill." 
 
Pakistani senator Sherry Rehman wrote: "She came to Pakistan 56 years ago and spent her life looking after the diseased and dispossessed. We owe u [you] a debt of gratitude Dr Ruth Pfau."
 
Many Pakistanis also said they would like to see their government give Pfau a state funeral because of her services to the country. 
 
An obituary notice put up by the Marie Adelaide Leprosy Centre, which Pfau helped found, said her funeral would take place on Sunday August 19 at a Christian cemetery in Karachi, Pakistan's commercial centre. 
 
"Let us all pray together that Almighty God may grant [her] eternal rest and her family strength to bear this great loss," the notice read.
 
 
Dr. Ruth Katharina Martha Pfau was born on September 9, 1929
in Leipzig, Germany.
 
She grew up seeing the horrors of the Second World War (1939-1945) during which her city was bombed and her home destroyed. When the war ended, millions of people had been killed or went missing. Her country, in a state of ruins was finally divided into East Germany and West Germany.
 
In 1948 she had to cross the demarcation line illegally from East Germany (then under Russian occupation) to West Germany to pursue her education as a medical student.
 
In the 1950s she studied medicine at the universities of Mainz and Marburg in West Germany.
 
After her graduation she joined the catholic order of the 'Daughters of the Heart of Mary'.
 
She left her native country Germany and stopped in Karachi on her way to India on 8th March 1960. She was being sent to a Mission Station in India by her Congregation but due to some visa problems she broke journey in Karachi and here she was introduced to the leprosy work. On her first visit to the Leprosy patient’s colony at McLeod Road (now I. I. Chundrigar Road) she got so depressed with the situation that she resolved on the spot to join the group and help the affected Leprosy patients.
 
In 1961 she went to Vellore, South India to acquire training in the management of Leprosy. She then returned to Karachi to organize and expand the Leprosy Control Programme.
 
In 1965, she and Dr. Zarina Fazelbhoy, a Pakistani dermatologist initiated the training programme for paramedical workers.
 
1971, she had, in cooperation with the Provincial Governments, completed the network of treatment and control units in the Leprosy affected Provinces (Balochistan, Sindh, NWFP), Northern Areas and Azad Kashmir, traveling to every nook and corner of the country.
 
1979, she was appointed Federal Advisor on Leprosy to the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Government of Pakistan.
 
In 1996, she managed to control Leprosy in the country.
 
In 2006, she gave over to her successor, the Chief Executive Officer of MALC.
 
She has authored four books in German about her work in Pakistan and neighbouring Afghanistan, where she first went in 1984. One of these books, 'To Light a Candle' was translated into English in 1987.
 
 
Awards Achieved :
 
1968: The Order of the Cross from Germany.
 
1969: Sitara-e-Quaid-e-Azam from Government of Pakistan
 
1979: Hilal-e-Imtiaz from Government of Pakistan
 
1985: The Commanders Cross of the Order of Merit with Star from Germany
 
1989: Hilal-e-Pakistan from Government of Pakistan
 
1991: Damien-Dutton Award from USA
 
1991: Osterreischische Albert Schweitzer Gasellschaft from Austria
 
2002: Ramon Magsaysay Award from Government of Philippines
 
2003: The Jinnah Award from the Jinnah Society Pakistan
 
2003: In The Name of Allah Award by Idara Wiqar-e-Adab Pakistan
 
2004: Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science (D.Sc.) from Aga Khan University
 
2004: Life-time Achievement Award from the Rotary Club of Karachi
 
2005: Marion Doenhoff-Prize, Germany
 
2006: Life-time Achievement Award from the President of Pakistan
 
2006: Woman of the Year 2006 Award by CityFM89
 
2006: Certificate of Appreciation from the Ministry of Health
 
2009: Nesvita Women of Strength Awards by TVONE
 
2009: Life-time Achievement Khidmat Award by Al-Fikar International.
 
On 8th March 2010 she completed her 50 years in Pakistan. Her dedicated services and commitment to eradicate Leprosy and uplift of Marginalized groups in Pakistan gratefully acknowledged and honoured by both her national and international friends and by patients and staff at MALC.
 
19th February 2010 – The Hamdard University Karachi organized a grand function in honor of Dr. Pfau at their University Campus which attended by renowned celebrities.
 
6th March 2010 – The Consulate General of Germany in Karachi organized a music concert by Carolina Eyck and her ensemble in honour of Dr. Ruth Pfau at his residence.
 
7th March 2010 – Patients and Staff celebrated an evening with Dr. Pfau
 
8th March 2010 – Supporters and well wishers celebrated the day with Dr. Pfau
 
10th March 2010 – The Health Minister Sindh hosted a lunch and presented a shield
 
19th February 2010 – Hamdard University (Madinat-al-Hikmah) to acknowledge her lifetime selfless services to the people of Pakistan.
 
11th March, 2010 – Shield presented by Dr. Saghir Ahmed, Minister Health, Government of Sindh for completion of 50 years of Selfless and Meritorius Service for the Patients of Leprosy.
 
12th March, 2010 – Shield presented by Staff & Students of Happy Home School in appreciation of 50 years of meritorius services for the Eradication of Leprosy in Pakistan.
 
12th March, 2010 – Shield presented by Dawood Capital Management Limited on winning the LADIESFUND Woman of the Year Award.
 
2nd February, 2011 – Lifetime Achievement Award 2011 presented by the International Schools Educational Olympiad, orgaised by Karachi High School.
 
12th February, 2011 – LADIESFUND woman of the Year Award.
 
23rd March, 2011 - "Nishan-i-Quaid-i-Azam" Award presented by the President of Pakistan.